Peggy Comfort once told me that “the most dangerous thing to have on a boat was a calendar!”. Perhaps I should have listened better??
Our day started out in a wonderful cove on the island of Menorca (aprox. 120 miles from Barcelona). Swimming, walks along the water, a celebratory drink with Torben and Judy Bentsen. All seemed good.
Our big picture goal had been to make it to Barcelona by the 15th, and the weather looked ready to take a turn for the worse. Our last chance to leave and arrive “on time” had arrived.
The first two thirds of the trip were perfect. 15-20 knots of wind and a heading that had us sailing downwind and enjoying a spectacular moon. Torben and Judy had left bound for the same destination with us and we sailed together never more than a couple of miles apart.
Unfortunately, at about 3am Deb woke me up to deal with a cruise ship crossing our path, and casually mentioned that there was “a ton of lightning up ahead”.
Well that “ton of lighting” turned out to be the most amazing and yes scary display of lightning that either of us had ever seen. We pulled a u-turn and hoped that we could stay ahead of the front until the morning sun killed off the lightning. That didn’t quite work out.
The front and the edge of the lightning storm caught us at about 4:30am. 35 knots, , 180 degree wind shift, torrential rain, huge temperature swing (warm to cold), and me standing at the wheel driving with swimming goggles on so I could see thru the rain. (Wish Deb got a picture of that!)
I’m pretty sure that neither Deb nor I ever imagined our 30th wedding anniversary would be spent running away from an approaching front with a never ending lightning show.
But, we dealt with it and are now sitting in our favorite Mediterranean port – Barcelona!!
A look back at this season…